Indiana Wesleyan University’s New Model of Ministerial Education
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IWU Unveils New Master of Divinity Degree Program
MARION, Ind. — Indiana Wesleyan University announces a new Master of Divinity program, an innovative model for ministerial education created from the ground up as an “in-ministry” degree. Designed for men and women active in professional ministry, the 75-hour program can be completed online with some onsite intensives or completely onsite at the main campus in Marion, Ind. The first class of students will start in August 2009.
Unlike M.Div. programs where courses in Bible, theology and Christian history are often disconnected from courses in preaching, worship and congregational leadership, the IWU program will focus on skilled application of the best biblical, theological and practical scholarship. Core courses will be designed by a team of scholars representing multiple theoretical and practical disciplines. “This new M.Div. fully integrates theory and practice,” says Russ Gunsalus, the Chairperson of the IWU Graduate Studies in Ministry Department. “From day one, students will apply lessons from class to their ministry and will use action research from their ministry in their class.”
The curriculum consists of 60 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives. Courses are offered in one-week intensives and 16-week formats. Currently two 15-hour concentrations, focusing on ministerial leadership and youth ministry, are offered. Some of the featured courses include:
• Pastor, Church and World,
• Cultural Contexts of Ministry,
• Missional Christianity,
• Congregational Spiritual Formation,
• Christian Proclamation,
• Congregational Relationships,
• Congregational Leadership, and
• Christian Worship
The theological, biblical and historical foundations of the curriculum will be integrated into each course and into an additional foundational course in each area.
IWU’s M.Div. program will also offer a series of one-hour spiritual transformation courses throughout the curriculum. Dr. Ken Schenck, a chief architect of the curriculum, says that a founding goal of the program is to provide students with an experience that is spiritually formative. “Throughout the core of the program, students will take on-going courses designed to move them through a process of spiritual transformation that will lead them toward increased wisdom, self-understanding and holiness.”
The program climaxes with an “Integration Capstone” course that provides the graduating student with a synoptic assessment of personal progress and action plans for future ministry.
Online students must take a minimum of 18 hours in intensive onsite courses. The remaining 57 hours can be pursued either onsite or online. Onsite students can complete the whole program in Marion. A convocation service, coinciding with intensive onsite course offerings, will annually unite the entire M.Div. family of faculty, students and administrators.
According to Nathan Lamb, IWU’s Director of Graduate Ministry Recruitment, the university’s vision for graduate ministry education is to equip ministers to lead healthy, growing, missional churches. “As the demands of modern-day ministry continue to evolve, your on-going effectiveness will be directly linked to your commitment to grow spiritually and professionally,” says Lamb. “For pastors seeking an M.Div., this new program offers an affordable, convenient option from a school ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the ‘best Master’s universities in the Midwest.’”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.895.0036, ext. 2089.